DELMAR — The Real McCoy Beer Company may explore other options if the town’s zoning board nixes its latest idea to expand.
The town Zoning Board of Appeals will host a public hearing on that expansion plan when it meets again on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
The nano-craft brewery has helped generate a modest nightlife in the center of Delmar since it first opened in 2016. In its four years it has expanded to accommodate a bar and seating area that has cultivated sports viewings and live music entertainment.
What has been missing for consumers is food service. Owner Michael Bellini has invited food trucks to collaborate on an overall experience. In October, he submitted an idea to the Zoning Board of Appeals that would expand the brewery’s footprint towards that same direction.
Bellini wants to modify two, 40-foot shipping containers into a small, commercial kitchen. The renderings of the plan shows a continuation of the modern industrial look present in the town’s warehouse district of Hallwood Road.
Each of the “high-cube” containers stand 9-feet and 6-inches tall, measure 8-feet wide and 40-feet long. The metal containers, often seen on cargo ships and freight trains, would be cut and modified with large, glass doors accented by black lattice. The interior would appear to include dark wood flooring with a large, granite counter top for patrons facing an open kitchen complete with stainless steel appliances. In addition to indoor seating space, the plan includes a patio-like dining area with umbrellas, just outside of it.
At issue would be the placement of the kitchen, which is proposed to sit at the back end of the 20 Hallwood Road property, nosing a property line defined by pine trees, a stockade fence and a 10-foot retaining wall. The kitchen will stand as close as nearly 9 feet from the property line and just over 12 feet from its back neighbor’s garage.
“We would like to continue to grow our business and the addition of food service for our brewery is a large part of our business plan,” Bellini stated in his application. “We do not own the property so we are utilizing the shipping containers as a way to invest in assets owned by the brewery.”
Bellini said he has explored options to expand his business through other means, including buying out Brewtus Roasting from its neighboring storefront or purchasing the 20 Hallwood Road property from his landlord.
Bellini said he has also pursued buying the 343 Delaware Ave. property left vacant by TD Bank. But, he said, the negotiations for that purchase had stalled after virus-related restrictions limited indoor seating for restaurants.
“Short of moving our brewery to an entirely different location all-together we have run out of options,” Bellini said.
Bellini’s 191-page application is full of support from local residents and patrons, including strong words of encouragement from state Senator Neil Breslin and state Assemblywoman Pat Fahy.
“This is exactly the kind of innovative pivoting and expanding that we need to nurture in today’s tumultuous economy,” Fahy stated. “We need to support these kinds of small business that provide the quality of life our communities depend on for our economic health.”